You may have already visited Venice on a whirlwind Italian trip, but it’s worth it to return just to dive deep into medieval history.
Take, for example, the city’s ever-popular gondolas. These days, their main purpose is to provide romantic rides for tourists, but their earliest recorded use dates back to 1094. For the next several centuries, they were luxury vessels used by the city’s elite, until a Senate law in 1562 aimed at limiting ostentation dictated that they be black and bare. Gondolas would go on to become a primary mode of transportation, with some 8,000 to 10,000 of them used during the 17th and 18th centuries. (Today, there are about 400.)
On your medieval tour, also check out St. Mark’s Basilica, which debuted in 1094 and is outfitted with gorgeous medieval mosaics. And make time to see the Ca' d'Oro or Palazzo palace, a treasure from the later Middle Ages that opened in 1430.